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INTEL: Boozy flights, Muay Thai fights and a dose of Ditka

It probably isn’t too surprising to learn that there are more alcoholic beverage sales on flights to Las Vegas than any other destination. It seems passengers to Las Vegas are getting a head start on their fun by fueling up before they arrive.

USA Today recently reported that GuestLogix, a company that manages in-flight payment systems for 90 percent of the airlines in North America, said most onboard purchases occurred on flights to Seattle, San Francisco and Las Vegas in an analysis of sales occurring between November and February.

GuestLogix reported that people spent $139.83 per flight for food on trips to San Francisco, $120.80 per flight on trips to Seattle and $102.79 going into Las Vegas.

But for beverage sales, Las Vegas led the pack with $93.16 in sales during the time frame with $79.23 sold on flights to Seattle and $65.58 going into San Francisco.

GuestLogix said in-flight sales are increasing, with 12 percent of passengers making purchases today compared with 7 percent four years ago.

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The repeal of the Wright Amendment is giving a lift to Las Vegas.

The regulation that prohibits Southwest Airlines from flying nonstop between its Dallas Love Field headquarters and McCarran International Airport will end Oct. 13.

Southwest wasted little time instituting a schedule that offers flights from Dallas to 15 destinations. About half of the airline’s 45 new Dallas flights begin that date with the rest being added Nov. 2.

For Las Vegas, that means four new Dallas flights — more than 550 seats a day — coming into the valley from the city’s sixth leading market.

For Las Vegans, it means a landing in Dallas that is minutes away from downtown and raises the prospect of ticket prices coming down on other carriers.

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For the first time, Las Vegas-based Lion Fight, the Muay Thai combat sport promotion company, is joining forces with MMA powerhouse Ultimate Fighting Championship to present a Muay Thai fight show on July 4 at The Pearl inside the Palms.

The Lion Fight event will be part of the UFC International Fight Week roster of events and fan activities.

Receiving a promotional boost from a powerful brand such as Las Vegas-based UFC is a big break for Lion Fight, which has staged previous Muay Thai fight shows at the Fremont Street Experience and at the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut.

“I sincerely thank UFC owners Dana White and Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta for giving Lion Fight this opportunity,” Lion Fight founder Scott Kent said. “I promise you and the fans that our Fourth of July full Muay Thai rules event will be the ultimate action-packed prelude to your UFC 175 mixed martial arts megafight on July 5.”

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Mike Ditka fans in Las Vegas will be happy to hear that the former Chicago Bears football coach has been recruited to be the spokesman for Chicago Franchise Systems Inc., parent company of Al’s Beef Las Vegas and other Al’s around the country. Ditka will be involved with the company’s store branding, advertising, public relations and marketing efforts. Al’s Beef Las Vegas opened in January at 6840 W. Sahara Ave.